Illegal Credit Charges
On May 29th 2002, Mr. Robert Chartier filed a motion for authorization to institute a class action against Meubles Léon.
The class action alleges that Leon’s intentionally violated certain provisions of the Consumer Protection Act through its advertising of consumer credit. Contrary to its advertisements claiming there was nothing to pay, Leon’s charged a fee to benefit from financing. Mr. Chartier seeks the reimbursement of the fees that were charged illegally, damages and punitive damages.
On February 17th 2003, Judge Marc Beaudoin of the Superior Court authorized the institution of the class action and described the group covered as follows:
All natural persons residing in Quebec who purchased a movable good from the Defendant and who had to pay administrative fees of 45$ or 55$ to benefit from a financing program offered or advertised by the Defendant.
On September 19, 2005, the Honourable Pepita Capriolo approved the settlement concluded between the parties.
This settlement provides that the defendant (« Leon ») will mail a notice to all members of the class informing them of the settlement and enclosing a form with which to present a claim (« Notice »).
In this Notice, the defendant will advise the class members of their choice of compensation. Class members can choose to ask Leon for a check for an amount of thirty eight dollars (38 $), or to present the Notice to a Leon’s store in Quebec in exchange for a credit of one hundred dollars (100 $) applicable on any purchase of furniture (except appliances and electronic products), upon presenting proof of identity.
The Notice must be mailed at the latest by November 18 2005. The member must either exercise his or her right to obtain a credit or return the Notice indicating his choice to obtain a check within three months of the mailing of the Notice failing which he will be deemed to have renounced his rights.
The defendant will make contributions totaling one hundred and sixty thousand dollars (160 000 $) to the following charities:
• Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation : 15 000 $;
• Montréal Children’s Hospital : 15 000 $;
• Schriner’s Hospitals for Children : 10 000 $;
• Canadian Red Cross : 25 000 $;
• Old Brewery Mission : 5 000 $;
• Accueil Bonneau : 5 000 $;
• Canadian Cancer Society: 20 000 $;
• Heart and Stroke Foundation : 20 000 $;
• Multiple Scleroses Foundation : 30 000 $;
• The Endeavours of Cardinal Léger : 10 000 $;
• Villa Ste-Marcelline Foundation : 5 000 $.
The fees of the plaintiff’s attorneys will be paid by the defendant, in addition to the compensation provided for the members of the class.
It is important that members contact the plaintiff’s attorneys to advise of a change of address since the date of their purchase.